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FIFA scraps plans for 48-team World Cup in 2022

Bruce Arena says the USMNT's World Cup qualifying failure in 2017 did not factor into his decision to take the head-coaching job with New England.
ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle reports from the FIFA council meeting in Miami, which opened the door for a 48-team World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

FIFA has given up on its efforts to expand the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams, football's world governing body announced on Wednesday.

"In line with the conclusions of the feasibility study approved by the FIFA Council at its last meeting, FIFA and Qatar have jointly explored all possibilities to increase the number of participant teams from 32 to 48 teams by involving neighbouring countries at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022," a FIFA statement read on Thursday.

"Following a thorough and comprehensive...

Qatar brings first new World Cup stadium to life as FIFA mulls expansion

ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle reports from the FIFA council meeting in Miami, which opened the door for a 48-team World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

Qatar inaugurated the first of seven new 2022 World Cup stadiums on Thursday, just weeks before a crucial FIFA summit will decide whether to expand the tournament and potentially push it beyond the tiny Gulf state's borders to accommodate a larger format.

Fans packed into the Al Janoub stadium, a 40,000 seat venue made to resemble the sail of a dhow, or traditional wooden sailboat, to cheer on Qatari teams playing in the final of the Emir Cup, a local tournament for the country's club sides.

The...

Asia's 2022 World Cup qualifiers drawn despite FIFA not knowing how many teams will play

FIFA president Gianni Infantino wants Qatar to have a co-host and will present an expansion proposal at June's congress in Paris.
ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle reports from the FIFA council meeting in Miami, which opened the door for a 48-team World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

The draw for the first phase of Asia's qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup finals featuring the continent's lowest-ranked nations was made on Wednesday, even though FIFA has yet to decide how many teams will participate in the tournament.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino continues to promote his plan to expand the tournament from 32 to 48 teams and potentially share the hosting duties originally awarded to Qatar with other nations in the Middle East.

Oman and Kuwait have been approached as potential...

FIFA president Infantino: World Cup 2022 with 48 teams is '50/50'

FIFA president Gianni Infantino wants Qatar to have a co-host and will present an expansion proposal at June's congress in Paris.

The chances of FIFA increasing the number of teams at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from 32 to 48 is 50/50, the president of world football's governing body Gianni Infantino said on Wednesday.

Infantino, who is in Brazil for a meeting of the South American Football Confederation, told delegates he was working to ensure the increase for the Qatar tournament, which would mean a guaranteed two extra places for South American sides.

"We are working to see if we can get 48 teams in the 2022 World Cup...

Pele hospitalised in Paris with urinary infection

Football great Pele was hospitalised in Paris on Wednesday because of a urinary infection following a meeting with Kylian Mbappe in the French capital, his spokesman said.

Pepito Fornos told The Associated Press the three-time World Cup champion will be in hospital for up to two days.

"He was a little shaky and they detected a urinary infection," Fornos said.

He added that Pele is being treated with antibiotics, but "it is all under control."

Earlier, Brazilian TV network Globo said Pele had a cold...